Sometimes we need to back away from a project, plan, book, idea . . . and give it time to be.
I recently spent two weeks working on a rough draft for a mystery novella. At the end of the two weeks I thought “this is such crap, what was I thinking?” Guess what? I re-read the draft two weeks later and thought “hey, this isn’t half bad!”. It was the same writing, the same approach, the same talent . . . why the difference?
Time and distance.
If you’re feeling like your work isn’t good enough . . . be a little like those sea gulls and just float away. You can return, but not today.
A quick note to let you know the novella is going excruciatingly and painfully awful. But as one of my readers said, you just have to be willing to be awful for awhile. I’m good with that.
The good thing for me is that when I read over the last two days of draft work (my very first attempt at fiction) that it’s crystal clear where the problems are. At least I recognize crap. And, I have *some* idea of how to fix it. However, I’ve promised myself not to go into editing mode until the draft is complete.
This is where my work differs from my non-fiction writing. With non-fiction I edit more-or-less constantly. That way, by the time I’m done with the book or the article or whatever, it’s fairly well-polished. It’s very hard for me not to edit as I go with this novella – but I’m keeping hands-off.
By the way, the photo above is my image of what it looks like outside Little Creek, Arizona – the setting for my novella. It’s fall and the cottonwoods are turning.
P.S. I’m posting daily totals over on twitter with hashtag #nancywritesanovella